Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meaningful Media

We plan to hold a Meaningful Media workshop during the Asia Consciousness Festival in Hong Kong that will bring together leading researchers from the consciousness community with media (and especially interactive media) experts.  One of the few technologies that tracks the exponential growth of many of our problems today (pollution, population, etc.), digital media technologies have the potential to transform perspective and world-view.  Media acts in the realm of the mind to influence behavior.  The sights we see, the sounds we hear, and the games we experience incite emotions and shape world-view.   For example, you can probably recall moments when films made you laugh, cry, or feel scared.  Today's advertising applies many of the theories of psychology to influence behavior (for those that haven't seen it yet Adam Curtis wonderfully outlines the development of the advertising industry in his series Century of Self which is available online here:  http://freedocumentaries.org/film.php?id=140).  

In the case of Meaningful Media, we pose the question "Can we apply media to liberate rather than subjugate the mind?"  I am personally inspired by a book by the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti which is also available online (chapter 1 at http://www.krishnamurti-and-education.org/edu_and_signif_ch1.htm).  Addressing the issue of personal development / transformation lies at the heart of nearly every major problem that we face in the world today.

Although we come from different cultures and perspectives, and may have different beliefs and world-views, we share a common biology that is governed by the same principles in the material world.  EEG, galvanic skin response, and heart rate variability are measurable and correlate to emotional experience.  Consciousness studies strives to develop an understanding of the relationship between mind (influenced by media) and body (objectively measurements possible).  Interactive media and video games coupled with biofeedback provide a feedback loop to personalize experiences and entrain.  The Internet allows rapid dissemination of ideas and media (sites like http://www.ted.com inspire millions).  In the early days of computer technology, we programmed computers to improve efficiency.  In today's world of multimedia, they program us.  How many have become emotionally dependent upon the Internet or the mobile phone?

Although I have not yet met Stephen Schafer or John Stewart in person, we share many common interests and a common goal of actively working toward more peaceful and sustainable ways of being.  We believe that media technologies provide a valuable tool towards achieving this goal.  

Please join us.

1 comment:

  1. Addressing issues of “meaningful media” is a critical global priority in an incipient media age. I find it very exciting that Dr. Yu has taken the initiative to establish an ongoing conversation relative to the definition and potentials of meaningful media. At a time when unified field perspectives about the scientific realities of psyche-physics are beginning to prevail in cognitive research, the application of Dr. Stewart’s framework for Intentional Evolution becomes a human mandate.

    My interest is in theoretical work relative to the uses of immersive interactive story-based games in educational curriculum, marketing, and cultural transformation. I have been developing a theoretical framework—the Psychecology Game—in which a genre of story-based games may be used as a research instrument to access veridical data relative to unconscious states. This possibility is based on an assertion that dream images and screen images constitute a dynamic-perceptual analog that allows for computational access and manipulation of archetypal patterns in individual and collective dimensions of psyche. The analog is based on a multidimensional common denominator—narrative structure—that appears to operate as an affective transducer between unified fields of physics and psyche. The theory is based on the Amplification Method of dream analysis established by Carl Jung, their application within the context of mythic-narrative (Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey), and current research in a varity of cognitive models.

    I look forward to our conversation with great anticipation and trust that it will lead to the realization of the profound potentials inherent in an age of meaningful media.